Copper Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. It is one of the roughest parts of the country. It is an area that you can visit well, although it can be quite adventurous. But that’s what makes it fun. These are the best tips for your visit to Barranca del Cobre as the area is officially called.
The countless canyons of Copper Canyon have a combined length of 1,500 kilometers. And they are on average more than 1,800 meters deep. The total area covers an area of 30,000 km2. It is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Mexico. But Copper Canyon is actually made up of six canyons. Which together are four times the size of the Grand Canyon. And yes, this environment is impressive.
The attractions of Copper Canyon
El Chepe: the Copper Canyon Train
El Chepe, that is how the train through the gorge is lovingly called. Its official name is Ferrocarril Barrancas del Cobre. It is the most popular way to explore the Copper Canyon.
The train travels right through the gorge and covers a total of 673 kilometers. El Chepe’s route is from the city of Chihuahua to Los Mochis. And back again of course. With various stops along the way where you can get off the train. So that you can explore the area. And you can even stay overnight so that you can continue your trip the next day. In the various villages, you can also rent a car to explore the area.
At each stop, you will see many local sellers offering everything. Such as fresh fruit, drinks, and souvenirs like woven baskets and clay pots.
El Fuerte is the first stop when you take the train from Las Mochis. This colonial town is a lovely place to spend a night or two. Visit the Cerro de la Mascara, among others. More than 300 petroglyphs of the original inhabitants have been found here.
The Rio Grande also runs here. This river eventually ends in the Pacific Ocean. You can walk to the bank of the river. Bring mosquito repellent, because you will find many biting insects here.
Bahuichivo provides access to the famous Urique Canyon. This canyon is known as one of the steepest in Copper Canyon. Various hikes are possible. Ask for the possibilities on the spot.
A beautiful hike takes you to Cerocahuia Falls. This waterfall is about an hour’s hike one way. You can also book various excursions here to explore the area.
The road to Batopilas is one of the most beautiful roads in Copper Canyon. With many curves, ravines, and views. If you get carsick easily, taking some medication beforehand can be useful.
In the picturesque Batopilas, you can still see a striking amount of locals wearing their traditional clothing.
Divisadero is a popular place to stop. Partly because of the trail into the gorge, which is known as heavy. You also have a special view of the gorge where the town is located.
Creel is often used as a base for a visit to Copper Canyon. The town is located at an altitude of 2,240 meters. You can book numerous tours. Including one to Recohuata Hot Spring, which is 22 km from Creel. As well as a trip to the strange mushroom rocks in the area.
You can also book excursions to Valle de Los Hongos and Valle de las Ranas where the Tarahumara Indians live. These cultural tours give a glimpse into the cuisine of this tribe that has lived here for centuries.
Basaseachi National Park
Basaseachi National Park is located in the Candameña Canyon. This gorge is home to the Basaseachic Falls, among others. With 246 meters, this waterfall is the second-highest waterfall in Mexico. If you walk to the waterfall you have various viewpoints along the way. From where you can view the waterfall slightly differently every time.
Copper Canyon Adventure Park
If you want to be active, the Copper Canyon Adventure Park is a good place to visit. You will find various attractions here. Including a Via Ferrata, a cable car of 2.7 kilometers, and the Zip Rider. This zipline is one of the longest in the world. In which you achieve great speed; up to more than 100 kilometers per hour. And that in an environment that you will not soon forget. You can choose, but all attractions show Copper Canyon in a special way.
Hiking in Copper Canyon
If you want to hike in Copper Canyon, a guide is very helpful. The tricky part is that many trails are not very well marked. And that the maps are not very accurate. There are numerous routes to choose from.
One of the most popular is the 52km trail from Batopilas to Urique. Just like the hiking route from Cusarare to Divisadero, which is about the same length. Both trails can take up to three days. Take your time, these are the most beautiful parts of Copper Canyon.
Best Time to Visit Copper Canyon
Copper Canyon can be visited all year round. Especially if you prepare your trip well.
It is also beautiful here in winter, although it can be chilly here. And some roads can be closed by ice and snow. But it is remarkably quiet here with tourists.
Spring is a good time to visit. It is usually dry from the end of February to May. And you see flowers blooming. But it can also be windy, which can cause some attractions to be closed.
Summer is the rainy season. From June to the end of August it often rains here, but usually not too long. Waterfalls are at their strongest and it is green everywhere. But it is also warm and clammy.
Autumn is perfect because of the warm weather. While no weather extremes are to be expected in September and October.
More information: www.chepe.com.mx